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Fourth of July: fireworks spark concerns about safety and insurance


July 2, 2012

SEATTLE – The Fourth of July is a day of celebration for millions of Americans. Picnics, barbecues and fireworks are all part of the festivities. Independence Day, however, can be dangerous if safety is not a priority.

Fireworks caused 15,500 fires in 2010, which resulted in $36 million in property damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

“It’s a great time to celebrate our country’s freedom,” said Karl Newman, NW Insurance Council president. “It’s also a time to remember that with freedom comes responsibility – including safe use of fireworks.”

If fireworks are used near your home, your house is vulnerable to fire and your family and guests are vulnerable to injury.

A standard Homeowners Insurance policy covers fire damage to your home and property, including plants, trees and shrubs, minus your deductible. Your Homeowners Insurance also covers injuries to guests up to the limits of your Liability Coverage.

Carelessness or lack of knowledge can lead to a spoiled holiday. NW Insurance Council offers the following safety tips to help you enjoy your Independence Day:

Always read and follow the instructions listed on the fireworks.

Do not allow children to play with fireworks. Always have a responsible adult present.

Buy fireworks and all pyrotechnics from reliable businesses.

Always use fireworks outdoors. Never ignite inside your home or garage.

Always have water handy to douse hot fireworks (a garden hose and a bucket).

Never experiment or make your own fireworks.

Light only one firework at a time.

Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.

Never throw or point fireworks at other people.

Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.

Stay away from illegal explosives.

For more information on fireworks safety and Homeowners Insurance, contact NW Insurance Council at (800) 664-4942.

The NW Insurance Council is a nonprofit, public-education organization funded by member insurance companies serving Washington, Oregon and Idaho.


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